A new report about the role of pubs in communities has found that they have a key role to play in tackling loneliness and offer a social value above and beyond the contribution they make to the economy.
The Open Arms: The Role of Pubs in Tackling Loneliness report was produced by Loughborough University, Heineken UK and The Campaign to End Loneliness.
The research found that pubs are an important part of a community’s infrastructure, just like libraries, cafés and community centres.
With social isolation and loneliness on the rise in all age groups as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, CAMRA is calling on governments across the UK to recognise the value of local pubs – and take action to make sure they are still around to help the nation’s healing process after the pandemic.
Commenting, CAMRA National Chairman Nik Antona said:
“CAMRA welcomes this report which shows just how much pubs matter to individuals and communities, and why they are worth saving so that they can re-open and thrive post-COVID.
“Our pubs provide a safe, regulated environment in which to relax with a drink and mix with people of other age groups and backgrounds – and are often the only place left for people in many communities to meet. Yet too many had already closed even before COVID, with the coronavirus crisis put tens of thousands more at risk of permanent closure.
“It is vital that governments across the UK recognise the role that pubs will play as part of our social fabric, bringing people back together after this pandemic, and take action now to save our pubs.
“The Chancellor’s upcoming Budget is the perfect opportunity to commit to a long-term financial support package for pubs and breweries to see them through the tough months ahead. Pubs need greater help to get back on their feet again, which can be achieved by ending unfair and un-evidenced restrictions like the ‘substantial meal’ requirement once they are allowed to re-open.”